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Bible Commentaries

Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Job 12

Verse 2

You. Hebrew, "truly you are the people, and wisdom will die with you!" This irony is very sharp. (Calmet) --- "Are you alone men? or shall?" &c. (Septuagint; Syriac)

Verse 4

Mocked. He retaliates on Sophar, (chap. xi. 3.; Haydock) who had very seriously exhorted Job to call on God, as if he had been ignorant of this duty. (Calmet) --- God will one day force the wicked to retract their false notion, in despising his servants, Wisdom v. 3. (Worthington)

Verse 5

The lamp. Such is the just man, who under affliction is (Haydock) exposed to the ridicule of men who live at their ease. --- For. Hebrew, "to fall." (Calmet) Septuagint, "It was appointed for me to fall under others at the time fixed."

Verse 6

Abound. Hebrew, "are at peace." (Calmet) --- The prosperity of the wicked is therefore no proof that they are pleasing to him. (Haydock) --- All nature testifies that God exercises a sovereign dominion over his works. He may therefore cause the just to suffer, though they be guiltless. This is one of Job’s grand maxims. (Calmet)

Verse 11

Taste. For this no master is requisite; so I stood in no need of your information, (Calmet) of such trite remarks. (Haydock)

Verse 12

Ancient. He rather chides the youth of Sophar for offering to give him lessons. Old age is indeed commonly wiser and more experienced. Yet, what is man’s knowledge compared to that of God! ver. 3.

Verse 17

To a. Hebrew, "to be despoiled" of their wisdom and riches. (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "into captivity." (Haydock) --- Crafty plotters at last fall into such misconduct, as to be derided by men of the meanest capacity. (Worthington)

Verse 18

Looseth. Septuagint, "setteth kings upon the throne," &c. --- Belt. This was usually very magnificent, and a military ornament. See that of Pallas described. (Virgil, Æneid x.) Job intimates that God derives kings of their authority, at pleasure. Hebrew may also signify that he looseth the bond or prisoner of kings, and reduces themselves to slavery. (Calmet) --- Things never remain long in the same state. (Haydock) --- Even kings are sometimes obliged to beg. (Menochius)

Verse 19

Without. Hebrew, "despoiled." Septuagint, "captives." Cohanim, may comprise both sacred ministers and civil princes, 1 Kings viii. 18. All are equally subject to God. (Calmet)

Verse 20


Speakers. Permitting them to speak deceitfully, (Calmet) or causing their oracles to be contemned. (Haydock) --- Hebrew, "he withdraws speech from men of confidence." (Calmet) --- Neemanim, (Haydock) ambassadors or prime ministers, Numbers xii. 7. He disconcerteth the best concerted plans.

Verse 21

Relieveth. Hebrew, "ungirdeth (disarms) the strong." (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "but the lowly (humble) he has healed."

Verse 22

Of death. Tsalmaveth (Haydock) may perhaps simply denote darkness. (Calmet) --- God bringeth to light the most hidden things. (Haydock)

Verse 23

Multiplieth. Hebrew, Septuagint, and Syriac, "deceiveth," (Calmet) suffering them to confide too much in their strength, so that they fall an easy prey. (Haydock) --- How many nations, once so powerful, are now fallen; while others of no account have risen to eminence!

Verse 24

Changeth. Hebrew, "taketh away the heart," or prudence "of princes." Hence they follow the most absurd counsels, Isaias xxix. 19. (Calmet) --- No way. This was the case of Pharao, when he pursued the Israelites into the sea; (Tirinus) and the like may rationally be feared by those princes, who attempt to make innovations in the true religion, or in the sound laws of a kingdom. (Menochius)

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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Job 12". "Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". 1859.